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Media Drive Cluster Size

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  • Movies
  • Storage
  • Music
Last response: in Storage
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a b G Storage
September 3, 2013 3:12:24 PM

Hi again,

I was wondering if there would be any benefit from using a larger cluster size on my media drive? Instead of 4K, maybe 32K or 64K as 90% of the files will be music, movies and pictures (being well over 64K in size). The other 10% will be back up/ temporary space if I run out on my programs drive.

My current setup is:

-SSD for Windows and fave games/programs.

-1TB Blue for other programs and games.

-2TB Green for media.

Edit: Media is 3TB not two.

More about : media drive cluster size

a c 89 G Storage
September 3, 2013 3:17:19 PM

PyjamasCat said:
Hi again,

I was wondering if there would be any benefit from using a larger cluster size on my media drive? Instead of 4K, maybe 32K or 64K as 90% of the files will be music, movies and pictures (being well over 64K in size). The other 10% will be back up/ temporary space if I run out on my programs drive.

My current setup is:

-SSD for Windows and fave games/programs.

-1TB Blue for other programs and games.

-2TB Green for media.


Not really. Changing the cluster size really just affects the amount of file system overhead incurred when moving data around. Since it's a media drive, it's not worth it.
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a b G Storage
September 3, 2013 3:25:42 PM

For a media drive I'd use the smallest cluster size possible, in order to save as much space as you can (as files under the cluster size will fill up one cluster even if they have only 1 byte) However, it's not worth changing if the disk already has things.

You'd gain a few megabytes, probably, and not lose any performance (since it's a media drive). So, no reason not to do it if it's a new drive, no reason to do it if it's not.
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a b G Storage
September 3, 2013 3:35:07 PM

Would decreasing it reduce seek times also? I know how the cluster thing works with file size (my interpretation is like cups of drink, you fill cups with a type of drink but cannot top it off with and other drink therefore losing that space for anything but the current drink in the cup.) Drink being file and cup being the cluster thing. You would have more "cups" to look for with smaller clusters right? Therefore making them a little harder / slower to find?
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a b G Storage
September 4, 2013 11:48:04 AM

Seek time is the time it takes you to find the right cups (following your analogy) in the room full of cups. If fragmentation is null, it'll make no difference in seek time because no matter how many cups or how big they are, as long as they're in a row, once you find the first you find them all, and then just "drink" them in order.

If they're fragmented, it's a different story. For the cluster size to have any impact, which is extremely unlikely, then there would have to be really small fragments (less than 64KB) which would simply not be there if the cluster size would've been bigger.

If it's a media drive the seek time won't have any impact unless you're benchmarking, especially since files aren't changed often, fragmentation will be close to nothing.
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a b G Storage
September 4, 2013 1:21:33 PM

Kelthar said:
Seek time is the time it takes you to find the right cups (following your analogy) in the room full of cups. If fragmentation is null, it'll make no difference in seek time because no matter how many cups or how big they are, as long as they're in a row, once you find the first you find them all, and then just "drink" them in order.

If they're fragmented, it's a different story. For the cluster size to have any impact, which is extremely unlikely, then there would have to be really small fragments (less than 64KB) which would simply not be there if the cluster size would've been bigger.

If it's a media drive the seek time won't have any impact unless you're benchmarking, especially since files aren't changed often, fragmentation will be close to nothing.


Okay then. Sometimes I find it takes a few seconds to play a song, or skip to the next or previous. Is this because of how much it has to relocate or seek out? (being a 3TB drive, lots to look for?) I thought by decreasing the number of "cups" by having larger clusters, it would have less to look for therefore lowering seek time or something like that.

But I think I shall leave everything as is.
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a b G Storage
September 4, 2013 1:32:51 PM

No, because if it were cups, imagine it like instead of simply being higher, they're actually longer (in length). Now, whether there are 10 cups 1m long or 100 cups 10cm long, you're still going to need to walk 10m to reach the last cup.

It'll only have impact when it comes to seek times with fragmentation.
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a b G Storage
September 4, 2013 1:36:13 PM

Thanks for your help. These analogies help too.
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